Amid sexual misconduct claims, John Conyers to retire

Plagued by sexual misconduct allegations, longtime Rep. John Conyers announces his retirement and endorses his son to replace him in Congress.

Conyers, the longest-serving congressman, made the decision two weeks after sexual harassment allegations first surfaced and after returning last week to his Detroit-area district to discuss his political future with family and advisers.

“I’m retiring today,” the 88-year-old Michigan Democrat said in a phone interview with a local radio station from a Detroit hospital, where he has been since last month after experiencing chest pains. “I want everyone to know how much I appreciate [their] support.”

Conyers declined to address questions Tuesday about his health and said the allegations -- which he said “goes with the game of politics” -- would not diminish his political legacy.

“Absolutely not,” Conyers said. “My legacy cannot be compromised or diminished in any way, but what we are going through now. This too, shall pass. … I am very proud that I am the dean of the Congress.”

Pressure had been mounting for Conyers, who was hospitalized in Michigan late last month, to resign. Members of the Democratic leadership, including Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Jim Clyburn, one of the elder members of the Congressional Black Caucus, all called on Conyers to step down. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan also called on Conyers to resign.

Conyers was facing investigation by the House Ethics Committee into multiple allegations that he had sexually harassed women who worked with him.

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